Jane is twenty-one and a new graduate of Harvard where she was valedictorian of her class. Jane is prepared to be a student a bit longer. Intrigued by Neil, a writer she meets during an interview for the New York Times she is flattered by his interest. He's twenty years her senior and they negotiate the terms of their love affair. The stipulation, Neil will answer any question, becoming her information guru, as long as what he shares is not traced back to him.
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Since Jane's boyfriend Ben resides in Vermont and she's in New York, and a bit bored with her relationship with Ben, she goes along with the plan. Her goal, to better understand men so she can use the information to set her post-graduate life on the fast track in love and financial matters.
From the looks of things, Ben will soon be history. As Jane grows comfortable engaging in random talks about men and what makes them tick with Neil, she realizes how bored she has become with Ben and his life on the dairy farm. What she doesn't do initially, is level with him about her change of heart.
Neil uses his writing skills, and has success with a book he has written, that allows him to say goodbye to Bernard and his full-time teaching job. At the same time he uses a pen name creating a popular advice column for women. His success gives him confidence and an air of arrogance that makes him think he really knows women and is best suited for lending information to help the fairer sex avoid certain life pitfalls.
With Neil's guidance, Jane breaks things off with Ben (in a letter). Ben has changed his name to Goddess, after inheriting forty acres (when the couple he performed chores for in exchange for living accommodations dies). He turns his portion of the land into a yoga studio which he names, Goddess Studio. Jane learns of her ex's new endeavors from a postman she keeps in touch with.
Neil is smart enough to know that to keep his writings on the pulse of women that he is going to have to know lingo of the women and in some cases, of the younger generation as well. For this needed information, the guru turns to his teenage niece. Neil likes to impress people with his knowledge, especially, women.
It appears that Neil is using Jane for information too, (he often has her research his ideas) and then uses the information for writing projects where he benefits financially. Neil also feeds off of Jane's youthfulness without making it look like it. He keeps her in student mode, while he gets as much information out of her as she does from him. Only she doesn't make him agree to anything.
Jane and Neil move in together in Chelsea and his wife appears. They have been married eleven years, yet Neil neglected to mention any of this to Jane. His wife however, knew all about Jane and was coming to do her a woman-sister-friend favor, to warn her not to get in any deeper with her husband.
A slickster, Neil had already told his wife that the affair he was engaging in with Jane would actually bring the couple closer. Neil is a man who hates women. Lisa knows it, and Jane is beginning to see the light through youthful eyes.
Neil is filthy rich, Jane has no clue until Lisa shares the rather large piece of need-to-know information. He's also a womanizer. Jane nor Lisa are enough for his inflated ego. When confronted with Jane's new found knowledge of how low he is, he manipulates her turning the tables.
Determined to have someone, Jane marries Neil after he and Lisa divorce. She signs a pre-nup long enough to fill a composition notebook. The marriage is short lived, Neil is shot to death. The word on the street is that he was caught handling another man's wife.
Jane has learned her lesson, she now knows that all advice isn't good. Especially when it is being offered with strings and conditions, painted to look like love.
Best part of story, including ending:
I dId not like how much Jane dummied down to Neil.
Best scene in story:
My favorite scene was when Jane and Lisa met
Opinion about the main character:
I disliked how much Jane put up with trying to have a relationship with self-centered Neil.